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The avant-garde and its reflections in auteur cinema

Date

From 19 November 2021 to 4 March 2022

Place

Garage Auditorium

14 lectures

90 min
The avant-garde and its reflections in auteur cinemaThe avant-garde and its reflections in auteur cinema

The Avant-garde and Its Reflections in Auteur Cinema is a course designed by Yevgeny Maisel, editor of Iskusstvo Kino (The Art of Cinema) magazine, and film critic and cultural expert Inna Kushnareva. It will help participants to understand avant-garde strategies in cinema and how these strategies reveal themselves outside the framework of the avant-garde proper.

Minimalism and the aesthetics of presence, “body politics” and psychodrama, science fiction and eccentricity— tracking down these directions will allow the audience to grasp both the ambitions of the avant-garde and its gravitational influence on more traditional forms of auteur and other types of cinema.

Contact us to get up-to-date information about the course.s.

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Number of classes and duration:

14 90-minute lectures

Classes are held in Garage Auditorium with a closed online broadcast in accordance with a Moscow time schedule.

All listeners will get access to the course platform featuring recordings of lectures and links to additional thematic materials for self-study until April 4.


Season ticket costs:

Resident course season ticket (in the Auditorium) — 14,000 rubles

Online subscription (broadcast via the closed channel) — 10,000 rubles

You can join a course after the start of the program. Recordings of missed lectures will be available on the course platform. 

Courses can be purchased at the Museum information desk, the Education Center, and online on our site. Recordings will be available until April 4.

If you purchase a course in 2022, access to the platform will be extended by a month to May 4 in order that you have plenty of time to watch the final recorded sessions.



HOW TO TAKE PART

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From October 28, in line with the Moscow city government decree, a QR code and ID will be required in order to visit Garage.
Schedule

The Birth of the Avant-garde

How does cinema develop its own avant-garde? What are the key differences between the so-called avant-garde film and conventional cinema? What do narrative, sound, genre systems, and the system of audience expectations have to do with this division? How correct are such designations as “the avant-garde,” “experimental cinema,” etc.? What is the “film’s institutional mode of representation,” and how does it differ from the avant-garde? Evgeny Maisel's introductory lecture on cinematic avant-garde will cover these issues.

Date
Friday, November 19
Time
19:30–21:00
Place
Garage Auditorium

The Rise and Fall of Classic Film Representation

Inna Kushnareva will trace the development of the classic cinematic representation—the canonical “mise-en-scene” understood as a special, calibrated, and balanced relationship between the camera, bodies, and space. She will explain how this system later disintegrated, leading to the emergence of “post-cinema” in the 2000s, while also touching upon the notion of narrative cinema, its origin, and whether narrative is mandatory for the medium of film.

Date
Friday, November 26
Time
19:30–21:00
Place
Garage Auditorium

About the Dwarfs Who Started Small

Minimalist trends emerged in avant-garde cinema long before the term “minimalism” was coined as well as decades before the term “avant-garde” formed in relation to film. It is easy to see that many (although far from all) avant-garde films are more “handicraft” in production than expensive studio movies. The lecture will focus on the avant-garde movements along with individual projects, implying the use of a minimum of expressive means, from the Absolute film of the 1920s to Tony Conrad’s The Flicker (1966).

Date
Friday, December 3
Time
19:30–21:00
Place
Garage Auditorium

Minimalism, or the Victory of Space over Bodies

If guided by the basic concepts of the classical system of representation, involving camera, bodies, and space, then minimalism is one of the ways of its gradual destruction. Minimalism is the victory of space over bodies. Participants in the talk will discuss this cinematic movement using, as examples, the works of select directors, including James Benning, Lisandro Alonso, Tsai Ming-liang, etc.

Date
Friday, December 10
Time
19:30–21:00
Place
Garage Auditorium

The Cinema of the Unconscious

The search for what is beyond the rational, logical, narrative representation of the subject, as well as the cult of the unconscious, unite a wide range of filmmakers and experimenters traditionally ranked among the avant-garde. The lecture will focus on Parisian extremism and the 1920s’ impressionism, psychodrama discovered by Maya Derain, as well as the development of these ideas in the films of Gregory Markopoulos, Kenneth Anger, and other directors.

Date
Thursday, December 16
Time
19:30–21:00
Place
Garage Auditorium

Cinematography as Hypnosis

Was there ever reality inherent in cinema? Participants will discuss the relationship of cinema with reveries, daydreaming, and hypnosis, making a foray into film theory (Jean-Louis Baudry, Christian Metz, Raymond Bellour). The way this is expressed through cinema will be analyzed on the example of films by such contrasting directors as Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Christopher Nolan.

Date
Friday, December 24
Time
19:30–21:00
Place
Garage Auditorium

Silence of the Body

Abstraction and surreal experimentations were not the only directions of struggle for what cinema could or should be. Another “front line” dividing the avant-garde from “conventional” strategies became the human body. In this regard, the participants will talk about the movement known as “avant-doc,” discuss the representation of body and physicality in the second and third waves of the avant-garde (Willard Maas, Stan Brakhage, etc.), with a dedicated focus on contemporary cinema, from Albert Serra and Bruno Dumont to Harvard University’s Sensory Ethnography Lab experimenters.

Date
Friday, January 14
Time
19:30–21:00
Place
Garage Auditorium

My Body, My Choice!

Body cinema shows reality through the lens of the body. Bodies conquer space and radically change their relationship with the camera in it. To understand how this is achieved, the group will address the works of Yvonne Rainer, Chantal Akerman, Philippe Garrel, Claire Denis, etc., while also discussing pop genres, such as giallo and body horror.

Date
Friday, January 21
Time
19:30–21:00
Place
Garage Auditorium

Did Andy Warhol Have Dreams?

Warhol's films converge and transform all previously discussed themes: minimalism (Empire, Screen Tests), the special role of physicality (Chelsea Girls, etc.), and even the motif of dreaming, possibly without seeing dreams (Sleep).

Date
Friday, January 28
Time
19:30–21:00
Place
Garage Auditorium

Presence Factory

Andy Warhol synthesized affiliation with the underground and commercial success, innovative avant-garde aesthetics and star status. The talk will scrutinize Warhol’s most extreme films in terms of their position within the paradigm of avant-garde cinema and from the standpoint of Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht’s “aesthetics of presence,” which also had a particular influence on slow cinema of the subsequent eras.

Date
Friday, February 4
Time
19:30–21:00
Place
Garage Auditorium

The Avant-garde as Science

Even though sci-fi film and conventional avant-garde cinema may seem antagonists, the avant-garde and science fiction are in certain ways very much the same thing. The lecture will focus on the avant-garde’s ambition to grasp reality, in particular the connection between avant-garde practices and virtual reality (VR).

Date
Friday, February 11
Time
19:30–21:00
Place
Garage Auditorium

Blockbuster as the Avant-garde

The talk will be based on why sci-fi blockbusters are much closer to the avant-garde than classic cinema. The theoretical research of André Bazin, Lev Manovich, and Sean Cubitt will help to clarify this question.

Date
Friday, February 18
Time
19:30–21:00
Place
Garage Auditorium

Metacomedy

The surrealists adored eccentric comedy, which had a lot in common with the avant-garde. Eccentricity as a genre, however, quickly reached reflexivity in the work of Jacques Tati and turned into metacomedy. Unsurprisingly, Tati's influence subsequently spread to non-comedy genres.

Date
Thursday, February 24
Time
19:30–21:00
Place
Garage Auditorium

Vanguard Laughter

The avant-garde is no stranger to eccentric ideas. The lecture will help trace the American avant-garde’s eccentricity and comedic traditions, from Mack Sennett’s comedies to the masters of the 1960s’ underground cinema, such as Robert Nelson, Ron Rice, Jack Smith, etc.

Date
Friday, March 4
Time
19:30–21:00
Place
Garage Auditorium

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